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Tighter restrictions on hydrocodone

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The Drug Enforcement Administration recently announced tighter restrictions for drugs combined with the common painkiller hydrocodone. The new federal regulation is aimed at decreasing abuse of these products that contribute to overdose deaths and addiction.
 
What this means to patients who have been prescribed a hydrocodone combination product:
  • Beginning on and after Oct. 6, 2014 each new prescription that is written for products containing hydrocodone may only be filled once.

 

  • Examples of hydrocodone combination products are Tussionex, Hycodan, Norco, Lortab and all generic equivalents.

 

  • For a hydrocodone combination product prescribed prior to Oct. 6, 2014, with authorized refills, the prescription will be valid for up to six months from the original date of issuance, through April 8, 2015.

 

Questions? Just ask an SHS pharmacy staff member for more information. Visit samhealth.org/Pharmacy for a list of locations. 
 

Special note for pharmacology professionals: single-entity hydrocodone remains a C-II drug. Prior to filling/refilling a hydrocodone-containing prescription on or after Oct. 6, 2014, ensure that the prescriber has a valid registration with the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration as required for all controlled substance prescriptions. Prescribers who do not have DEA registration will not be able to issue prescriptions or personally furnish hydrocodone combination products. The new rule also impacts inventory, storage and recordkeeping. Visit go.usa.gov/mc8d to read the complete final rule change.